This world map looks warped but gives a true reading of research around the globe. “When I compare our high schools to what I see when I’m traveling abroad, I am terrified for our workforce of tomorrow,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in a 2005 speech.
When countries are scaled according to their annual investment in research and development, as shown here, the world looks odd. Clearly, the
Federal funds for R&D in almost every field have been declining for 30 years as a percentage of the gross domestic product, and most of these dollars are going to the development side. That imbalance leaves basic research in physics, math, and engineering—the raw material of technological change—foundering.
Basic research in the 1920s laid the foundation for the microelectronics industry of the 1950s; physicists’ discoveries in the 1950s led to the nanotechnology of the 1990s. Today’s lack of innovation could lead to tomorrow’s stagnant economy.
Education is also lagging in the
Meanwhile, other countries are surging ahead. Since 1998,
With projects like a 10-year “American Competitiveness” presidential initiative to double funding for basic research in the physical sciences and engineering, the
By almost any measure, the
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7) www.beyondgenes.com